TCRLA_Public/040818.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                    L A T I N   A M E R I C A

             Wednesday, August 18, 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 163



AGENCIA DEPORTIVA: Trustee to Submit Individual Reports
EDEERSA: Cartellone Buys Bidding Conditions
FRIO Y CALOR: Individual Reports Due Thursday
HENRI BLANC: Trustee to End Validation Phase
PARRILLA DON ZOILO: Credit Verification Deadline Nears

SIETE ASES: Report Submission Deadline Approaches
VEHICULOS ASIATICOS: Trustee to Present General Report


C&W BARBADOS: Deploys SPECTRUM(R) Infinity(TM)


ANNUITY & LIFE: Trades Common Shares in OTC Bulletin Board
FOSTER WHEELER: Secures Petronas Oil Plant Contract in Malaysia
GLOBAL CROSSING: Sells Global Marine Systems for US$132M


COPEL: Records BRL458.6M EBITDA in 2Q04
ENRON: Petrobras Board OKs Acquisition Terms


PAYLESS SHOESOURCE: Ratings Still On Watch Negative


KAISER ALUMINUM: Posts US$24.2M Net Income in 2Q04
* JAMAICA: IMF Wraps-up Article IV Consultation


AMERICAS MINING: S&P Raises Rating, Drops Creditwatch
CORPORACION DURANGO: Provides Detailed Info About Debt Plan
GRUPO MEXICO: S&P Raises Rating, Drops CreditWatch
GRUPO TMM: To Sell Controlling Interest in Mexrail
HYLSAMEX: Obtains $175 Million in Medium Term Bank Financing

LUZ Y FUERZA: Continues Drive to Eliminate Power Irregularities
PEMEX: Officials Move to Alleviate Debt Burden

P U E R T O   R I C O



PDVSA: Head Sees Stability in Oil Industry With Chavez Win
* S&P Affirms Ratings of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


AGENCIA DEPORTIVA: Trustee to Submit Individual Reports
Court No. 22 of Buenos Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal will
finalize the list of creditors eligible for post-liquidation
payments after it receives the case's individual reports on
Thursday, August 19, 2004.

Court-appointed trustee Ms. Alejandra Ethel Giacomini will
prepare these reports along with the general report that is also
due for submission on September 30, 2004.

CONTACT: Ms. Alejandra Ethel Giacomini, Trustee
         Carabobo 250
         Buenos Aires

EDEERSA: Cartellone Buys Bidding Conditions
Argentine construction group Cartellone has acquired the bidding
conditions for the sale of 51% of Entre Rios-based power
distribution firm Edeersa.

Cartellone has presence in the energy market and it takes part
in the CEISA consortium, which controls the power distributor of
the Jujuy province.

The government of Entre Rios has outlined a draft bill destined
to "safeguard the public services from those who may want to
obtain a revenue from a possible purchase and a subsequent sale
in a short term," according to Governor Jorge Busti.

This bill points at preventing distress funds from taking over
utilities in Argentina. In this case, the law is targeted on
Ashmore, which owns around 30% of Edeersa's debt. Ashmore paid
only 20% of face value when it acquired Edeersa's debt and now
wants to sell it for a much higher value.

FRIO Y CALOR: Individual Reports Due Thursday
Judge Herrera from Court No. 3 of Buenos Aires' Civil and
Commercial Tribunal expects to receive individual reports from
the Frio y Calor S.A. reorganization on Thursday, August 19,

The individual reports, prepared by trustee Ruben Sarafian, come
from all claims submitted by the Company's creditors during the
credit verification period. The Court will use these reports to
come up with the final recipients for the post-liquidation

Frio y Calor listed assets of US$1,703,750.79 and liabilities of
US$1,175,716.57 when it filed a petition to undergo

CONTACT:  Frio y Calor SA
          Joaquin V. Gonzalez 646, piso 3o, "A"
          Buenos Aires

          Ruben Sarafian, Receiver
          Tucuman 1657, piso 4o, "A"
          Buenos Aires

HENRI BLANC: Trustee to End Validation Phase
Mr. Alberto Jose Iturralde, acting as trustee for the Henri
Blanc S.A. bankruptcy, is set to close the verification of
claims on Thursday, August 19, 2004. Creditors should submit
proofs of the Company's indebtedness before the said date in
order to qualify for any post-liquidation payments.

Court No. 4 of Mar del Plata's Civil and Commercial Tribunal
handles this case with assistance from the city's Clerk No. 7.

CONTACT: Mr. Alberto Jose Iturralde, Trustee
         25 de Mayo 2980
         Mar del Plata

PARRILLA DON ZOILO: Credit Verification Deadline Nears
Creditors of insolvent company Parrilla Don Zoilo S.A. are
required to submit proofs of their claims before the
verification period closes on Thursday, August 19, 2004. The
documents must be submitted to Mr. Alfredo Rodriguez, the
trustee, before the deadline to qualify for the payments to be
made once the Company's assets are liquidated.

CONTACT: Parrilla Don Zoilo S.A.
         Honorio Pueyrredon 1412
         Buenos Aires

         Mr. Alfredo Rodriguez, Trustee
         M.T. de Alvear 1775
         Buenos Aires

SIETE ASES: Report Submission Deadline Approaches
Creditors' claims from the Siete Ases S.A. insolvency case will
be presented in court on Thursday, August 19, 2004. The claims,
submitted in the form of individual reports, will be prepared by
court-appointed trustee Raquel Steinhaus.

Court No. 19 of Buenos Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal has
jurisdiction over this case.

CONTACT: Ms. Raquel Steinhaus, Trustee
         Paraguay 577
         Buenos Aires

VEHICULOS ASIATICOS: Trustee to Present General Report
Ms. Nelida H. Grunblat de Nobile, court-appointed trustee
serving in the Vehiculos Asiaticos S.A. liquidation, is
scheduled to submit a general report of the case on Thursday,
August 19, 2004.

The general report provides the court with an audit of the
company's accounting and business records. The report also
details relevant events during the bankruptcy process.

Court No. 3 of Buenos Aires' Civil and Commercial Tribunal,
assisted by Clerk No. 6, has jurisdiction over this case.

CONTACT: Vehiculos Asiaticos S.A.
         Olazabal 5486
         Buenos Aires

         Ms. Nelida H. Grunblat de Nobile, Trustee
         Felipe Vallese 1195
         Buenos Aires


C&W BARBADOS: Deploys SPECTRUM(R) Infinity(TM)
Aprisma Management Technologies, Inc., a Gores Technology Group
Company, announced Monday that Cable & Wireless (Barbados)
Limited, a member of the Cable & Wireless Worldwide Group of
Companies, has deployed Aprisma's SPECTRUM(R) Infinity(TM) to
manage its Frame
Relay telecommunications network that provides data services to
the businesses of Barbados. SPECTRUM's Frame Relay Manager
monitors the performance, response time, and availability of the
Cable & Wireless service delivery infrastructure, guaranteeing
intelligent fault management down to the circuit level.
Additionally, SPECTRUM's OneClick(TM) graphical interface
delivers troubleshooting information remotely via the web in a
user-friendly, at-a-glance format that technical and business
personnel alike can understand.

According to Jerry Franklin, Manager, Regional Network
Management Center, Cable & Wireless (Barbados), "The system we
used before was time consuming.

With SPECTRUM, we will be able to proactively manage our network
and eliminate several issues before they impact our customers."

SPECTRUM's root cause analysis technology enables Cable &
Wireless (Barbados) to predict and prevent network problems
before they occur. SPECTRUM tracks key performance, utilization,
and response time statistics for capacity planning purposes.
Utilizing SPECTRUM's out-of-the-box intelligent threshold
settings, Franklin and his team can set individual performance
thresholds that will generate alarms when a problem is about to
occur or the systems' service level guarantees fall below the
agreed thresholds.

"SPECTRUM will allow us to introduce new and improved premium
service offerings to our premier customers," Franklin continued.
"This in turn will allow us to expand our services in an
efficient manner."

Future plans for Cable & Wireless (Barbados) include integrating
SPECTRUM with an in-house trouble ticketing system, as well as
management of an inter-island backbone network.

About Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited

Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited is a member of the Cable &
Wireless Worldwide Group of Companies. Cable & Wireless is one
of the world's leading international communications companies
and provides voice, data, and IP (Internet Protocol) services to
business and residential customers, as well as services to other
telecom carriers, mobile operators, and applications and
Internet service providers. Cable & Wireless' principal
operations are in continental Europe, Japan, the Caribbean,
Panama, the Middle East, Macau, and the United Kingdom.

About Aprisma Management Technologies

As the leader in Service Level Intelligence(TM) solutions,
Aprisma's SPECTRUM(R) software manages the health and
performance of networks and the business services that rely on
them. With over 10 years experience delivering rapid return on
investment for over 1,000 leading companies in more than 40
countries, SPECTRUM solutions are delivered on time and on
budget. Over $500 million has been invested to date in the
research and development of the SPECTRUM software suite, and an
intellectual property portfolio of over 100 patents serves as
evidence of Aprisma's continual innovation and industry thought
leadership. The company's culture is centered on the principle
"There is nothing more important than our customers" to
strengthen the knowledge, trust and respect customers gain from
a relationship with Aprisma.

About Gores Technology Group

Gores Technology Group, LLC ("Gores") is a private investment
firm focused on the technology and telecommunications sectors.
Since 1987, Gores has amassed an enviable track record of
successful investments within these sectors. The firm combines
the seasoned M & A team of a traditional financial buyer with
the operational expertise and detailed due diligence
capabilities of a strategic buyer. Gores has a long standing
record of creating sustainable value in its portfolio companies
by focusing on customers and employees, supporting management
with operational expertise, and providing the capital required
for growth. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Gores
maintains offices in Boulder, Colorado; New York; London; and


ANNUITY & LIFE: Trades Common Shares in OTC Bulletin Board
Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd. (OTC: ANNRF.OB) announced
Monday that the Company's common shares will trade on the OTC
Bulletin Board under the ticker symbol ANNRF.OB.

As mentioned in its second quarter earnings release and
conference call, the Company plans to seek the listing of its
common shares on the NASDAQ SmallCap Market, however the Company
cannot specify how long a move to the NASDAQ SmallCap Market
will take or if its common shares will qualify for listing.

Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd. provides annuity and life
reinsurance to insurers through its wholly owned subsidiaries,
Annuity and Life Reassurance, Ltd. and Annuity and Life
Reassurance America, Inc.

CONTACT: Mr. John W. Lockwood
         Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd.
         1 Victoria Street
         Hamilton HM 11
         P.O. Box HM 98
         Hamilton HM AX
         Phone: (441) 296-7667
         Fax: (441) 296-7665

         Web Site:

FOSTER WHEELER: Secures Petronas Oil Plant Contract in Malaysia
Foster Wheeler Ltd. (OTCBB: FWLRF) announced Monday that a
subsidiary of Foster Wheeler International Corporation, Foster
Wheeler Malaysia Sdn Bhd, and the subsidiary's partner, OGP
Technical Services Sdn Bhd, have been awarded a project
management consultancy (PMC) contract by PETRONAS Penapisan
(Melaka) Sdn Bhd (PP(M)SB) for the addition of a lube base oil
plant at the PP(M)SB refinery at Melaka, Malaysia. The project
will be included in third-quarter bookings.

This project will include a new plant and supporting facilities
to produce various grades of lubricant oil. It will be
integrated within the existing facilities and also includes
modifications to the offsites and utility systems.

"This is a significant win for Foster Wheeler and reflects our
long-standing relationship with PP(M)SB, having been the PMC for
the major PSR-2 expansion over a decade ago," said Steve Davies,
executive vice president of Foster Wheeler International
Corporation. "Foster Wheeler, with its partner, OGP, is also the
PMC for the current cogeneration project for PP(M)SB. The award
also recognizes the competitive market position and the quality
of services that Foster Wheeler is able to offer."

Under the scope of the contract, the PMC partners will undertake
the basic engineering design (BED), develop cost estimates and
prepare engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bid
packages. Following selection of the EPC contractor, the PMC
partners will be responsible for the management of the
activities of the EPC contractor through start-up of the new

Foster Wheeler Ltd. is a global company offering, through its
subsidiaries, a broad range of design, engineering,
construction, manufacturing, project development and management,
research and plant operation services. Foster Wheeler serves the
refining, upstream oil and gas, LNG and gas-to-liquids,
petrochemical, chemicals, power, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology
and healthcare industries. The corporation is based in Hamilton,
Bermuda, and its operational headquarters are in Clinton, New
Jersey, USA.

CONTACT: Foster Wheeler
         Media Contact:
         Ms. Maureen Bingert, 908-730-4444
         Other Inquiries, 908-730-4000

         Web Site:

GLOBAL CROSSING: Sells Global Marine Systems for US$132M
Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBCE) announced Monday that it has
consummated a series of agreements, which the company values at
up to $132 million, with Bridgehouse Marine Ltd. for the sale of
wholly-owned subsidiary Global Marine Systems and the transfer
of its 49 percent shareholding in S. B. Submarine Systems
Company Ltd. (SBSS) to Global Marine. As a result of these
transactions Global Crossing will receive consideration of up to
$14.8 million, and Bridgehouse will assume $117 million of
Global Marine capital lease debt, which had been carried on
Global Crossing's consolidated balance sheet. In addition, all
operating lease commitments for the Global Marine fleet will
remain with Global Marine.

"Global Crossing is keenly focused on becoming the market leader
in global IP connectivity solutions for enterprise customers,
building upon our unique network and technology advantages,"
commented John Legere, Global Crossing's CEO. "New ownership
will enable Global Marine to pursue diverse markets beyond
telecom for its services, while we concentrate our energies on
acquiring enterprise customers and building our competitive
advantage with IP solutions. Monday's agreement with Bridgehouse
Marine is a win-win for both companies."

In February 2004, Global Crossing retained Citigroup Global
Markets as its financial advisor to assist in exploring
strategic alternatives for Global Marine, including its
potential sale. After a six-month review and discussions with
several potential investors and purchasers, Global Crossing
determined that a sale to Bridgehouse Marine would best serve
the strategic goals of both Global Crossing and its marine
technology subsidiary.

"Bridgehouse Marine and its investors from Bridgehouse Capital
have tremendous experience in revitalizing companies in
difficult market sectors," stated Phil Metcalf, managing
director, Europe for Global Crossing and outgoing CEO of Global
Marine. "As Global Marine weathers the turbulent telecom storm
and pursues diverse markets such as oil and gas, the Bridgehouse
team will undoubtedly provide valuable strategic counsel and new
resources to the company."

Global Crossing acquired its 49 percent interest in SBSS in
1999, as part of its purchase of Global Marine, and owns the
venture in partnership with China Telecom. As part of Monday's
agreement, Global Crossing plans to transfer its shareholding in
SBSS to Global Marine, subject only to the approval of China
Telecom and Chinese regulatory review.

According to Andy Ruhan, Bridgehouse Capital's managing director
and a principal investor in Bridgehouse Marine, Global Marine is
the recognized market leader in the submarine telecommunications
industry and has unparalleled expertise in marine technology.
"Taking the business to a new level by expanding into diverse
markets while maintaining its leadership position in submarine
installation and maintenance is a challenge we are well-prepared
to undertake," commented Mr. Ruhan.

Mr. Ruhan will be serving as chairman of Global Marine and
brings significant experience in leading telecom-related
businesses, including having previously founded and served as
CEO of Global Switch, the world's largest carrier-neutral
collocation company.

Global Crossing has also agreed to extend its commercial
agreement with Global Marine for the maintenance of Global
Crossing's network for an additional five years.

Bridgehouse Marine's CEO, Larry Schwartz, commented: "We are
particularly pleased that Global Crossing has agreed to extend
its commercial agreement with Global Marine through 2012. We
look forward to a long-term, mutually successful commercial
relationship with Global Crossing."


Bridgehouse Marine Limited was formed for the purpose of
acquiring and managing companies providing marine services to
the telecommunications and energy industries. Bridgehouse Marine
is backed by Andrew Ruhan and Alan Campbell of Bridgehouse
Capital, together with Larry Schwartz of The Wenham Group, a
Bridgehouse affiliate. Bridgehouse Marine plans to grow through
a proactive acquisition strategy that will complement the
organic growth initiatives of its operating subsidiaries.
Bridgehouse Capital is a leading London-based, private equity
investment advisory firm with a successful track record of
investing in and managing a wide-range of asset-intensive and
capital-intensive businesses. Recent European and US investments
of Bridgehouse Capital and its principals have covered a wide
range of industries, including IP infrastructure and managed
services, commercial real estate, hotels, logistics and


Global Marine Systems Limited (Global Marine) is the world's
largest and most experienced submarine cable maintenance and
installation company. Global Marine operates the world's most
advanced fleet of cable ships and subsea vehicles, which consist
of 14 cable ships, 1 installation barge and 34 submersible
vehicles, not including joint venture facilities.


S. B. Submarine Systems was formed in 1995, and is a key
provider of submarine cable installation and maintenance
services throughout Asia from its headquarters in Shanghai. The
company owns and operates three vessels and four submersible
vehicles, and has been successfully pursuing opportunities in
the oil and gas industry to complement its strong track record
in telecommunications.

Please visit for more information
about SBSS.


Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBCE) provides telecommunications
solutions over the world's first integrated global IP-based
network. Its core network connects more than 300 cities and 30
countries worldwide, and delivers services to more than 500
major cities, 50 countries and 6 continents around the globe.
The company's global sales and support model matches the network
footprint and, like the network, delivers a consistent customer
experience worldwide.

Global Crossing IP services are global in scale, linking the
world's enterprises, governments and carriers with customers,
employees and partners worldwide in a secure environment that is
ideally suited for IP-based business applications, allowing e-
commerce to thrive. The company offers a full range of managed
data and voice products including Global Crossing IP VPN
Service, Global Crossing Managed Services and Global Crossing
VoIP services, to more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500, as
well as 700 carriers, mobile operators and ISPs.

CONTACTS: Ms. Becky Yeamans
          + 1 973-937-0155

          Ms. Fernanda Marques
          + 55 21-3820-4712

          Mr. Mish Desmidt
          + 44 (0) 7771-668438

          Analysts/Investors Contact

          Mr. Mitch Burd
          +1 800-836-0342


COPEL: Records BRL458.6M EBITDA in 2Q04
Companhia Paranaense de Energia - COPEL (NYSE: ELP / LATIBEX:
XCOP / BOVESPA: CPLE3, CPLE5, CPLE6), a Brazilian utility
company that generates, transmits, and distributes electric
power to the State of Parana, announced on Friday its operating
results for the first half of 2004. All figures included in this
report are in Reais (R$) and were prepared in accordance with
Brazilian GAAP (corporate law).


1. Net revenues totaled R$ 1,749.2 million - increase of 25.2%
against the first half of 2003.
2. Operating Income: R$ 272.7 million
3. Net Income: R$ 172.8 million (R$ 0.63 per 1,000 shares)
4. Increase in consumption through direct distribution: 1.7%
5. EBITDA: R$ 458.6 million


- Net income: In the first half of 2004, COPEL recorded a profit
of R$ 172.8 million, or R$ 0.63 per lot of one thousand shares.

- Market expansion: Total power consumption throughout COPEL's
direct distribution area grew by 1.7% in the first half of 2004
compared with the first half of 2003. Residential, commercial,
and rural consumer segments grew by 1.4%, 5.6%, and 7.2%,
respectively. The good performance of the rural segment is due
mainly to increased exports of agricultural, livestock, and
agroindustrial products.

Increased commercial consumption was due to the modernization of
the commercial sector and the opening of new businesses.
Industrial consumption throughout COPEL's concession area
dropped by 1.0% compared with the same period of 2003 on account
of some major unregulated ("free") industrial customers ceased
to be Copel's clients.

The consumption of unregulated customers supplied by COPEL
outside the State of Parana fell by 4.1% due to the change of
the billing date of a major customer.

- Rate increase: On June 24th 2004, The National Electric Energy
Agency (ANEEL) published in the Brazilian Federal Register its
Resolution no. 146, dated June 21st, 2004, containing the final
result of the periodic rate review for COPEL. Under such
Resolution, the Company was granted an average rate increase of
14.43% over the rates approved under Resolution 284/03, of which
9.17% correspond to the rate review and 5.26% correspond to the
recovery of costs already incurred (Portion A costs). However,
electricity bills paid when due have been granted by the Company
a 12.5% discount off the rates approved under Resolution no.
146/2004, thus causing the average increase passed on to
customers to be roughly 9%. COPEL's X Factor was set at 2.31%.

Under Decree no. 4,667/03, the rate increase percentages granted
to Brazilian distribution companies must be applied differently
according to customer segment, in order to phase out existing
cross-subsidies between customer groups.

- Overdue customers: The rate increase discount afforded to
electricity bills paid when due has caused a significant drop in
the number of lapsed bills. In June 2003, overdue bills
accounted for R$ 187 million, or 5.4% of the Company's 12-month
gross revenues. In December 2003, this figure had dropped to
2.6% of the 12-month gross revenues, or R$ 114 million, and in
June 2004, it reached R$ 97.5 million (or 2.5% of gross

The method employed to calculate the levels of overdue bills is
to divide the amounts overdue for 15 to 360 days by the 12-month
gross revenues.

- UEG Araucaria: On July 5th 2004, the Chief Justice of the
Superior Court of the State of Parana overruled a preliminary
injunction which had allowed the arbitration requested in Paris
by UEG Araucaria against COPEL to proceed.

This ruling fully restores the effectiveness of the March 15th
ruling of a lower Court of Law ("3a. Vara da Fazenda P£blica"),
which was favorable to COPEL, judging null and void the clause
in COPEL's agreement with UEG Araucaria providing for
arbitration and determining that the Brazilian Courts should be
the proper venue to resolve any issues arising from the

The Superior Court ruling also upheld the order for UEG
Araucaria to refrain from taking any action aimed at carrying on
the arbitration in Paris, subject to a daily penalty of R$ 500
thousand in the event of non-compliance.


Market Expansion

From January to June 2004, total power consumption in Copel's
direct distribution area amounted to 8,800 GWh, an increase of
1.7% over the same period last year. Taking into consideration
free consumers outside the State of Parana, total power
consumption amounted to 9,401 GWh.

This growth reflects, mainly, the expansion of the commercial
(5.6%) and rural (7.2%) segments. The good performance of the
commercial segment is due mainly to the modernization of the
commercial sector and to the opening of new commercial
businesses in the State. The number of commercial customers
increased by 3.1%, totaling 7,938 new connections.

The good performance of the rural segment is due to the increase
of agricultural goods for exports that allowed for the
acquisition of electronic equipment, and also for the 1.9%
increase in the number of connections in the rural region.

Industrial consumption, at Copel's concession area, dropped 1.0%
in comparison to the first half of 2003 given that some large
unregulated ("free") industrial consumers ceased to be Copel's
clients. The consumption of unregulated customers supplied by
COPEL outside the State of Parana fell by 4.1% due to the change
of the billing date of a major customer.

In June 2004, Copel had 3,134,341 customers, a 2.6% increase
compared to June 2003.


Net revenues totaled R$ 1,749.2 million, a 25.2% increase
against the R$1,397.1 million recorded in the first half of
2003. This increase reflects, mainly, the reduction in the
discount granted to due customers, with a power rate
readjustments of 15%, on average, being passed on to customers
from 01/01/2004 onwards; market expansion of 1.3% in the period;
higher supply revenue due to greater power sales via bilateral
contracts; and the increase in revenues for the use of
transmission network following the transmission tariff
readjustment approved by ANEEL Resolution 307, of June 30, 2003.


From January to June 2004, total operating expenses amounted to
R$ 1,441.9 million, versus R$ 1,182.3 million recorded in the
same period of 2003. The main reasons for the variation were:

- the 16.7% increase in the "personnel" line, chiefly due to pay
rises awarded from collective labor agreements in October 2003
(10%) and March 2004 (5.5%), and hiring of new employees.

- the increase in the "pension plan and other benefits" line,
due to expenses arising from retirement benefits (CVM
Deliberation 371/2000). Besides the estimated actuarial amount,
Copel is accounting R$ 37 million in the year as deficit
recorded in the previous years.

- the increase in the "materials and supplies" line, reflecting
provision for the purchase capacity for UEG Araucaria, with R$
118.8 million being recorded in the first half of 2004.

At the "energy purchased for resale" line, the main amounts
recorded are the following: R$ 203.9 million from Itaipu, R$
159.1 million from CIEN, R$ 21.8 million from Dona Francisca and
R$ 33.4 million from Itiquira.

- the increase in "use and transmission grid" is mainly due to
the tariff readjustment confirmed by ANEEL Resolution 307, of
June 30, 2003.

- the increase in "regulatory charges", under which the
following are booked: CCC - Fuel Consumption Account (R$ 76.7
million), financial compensation for the utilization of water
resources (R$ 27.2 million), ANEEL's Electric Power Services
Oversight Fee (R$ 3.8 million) and CDE - Energy Development
Account (R$ 38.9 million).

- the decrease in "other operating expenses" mainly due to the
reduction in insurance, as the policy was not renewed for UEG


EBITDA stood at R$ 458.6 million in the first half 2004, 27.4%
higher that the one recorded in the same period of the previous
year (R$ 359.9 million).

Financial Result

The financial income 18.1% increase, recorded in the first half
of 2004 is due, mainly, to higher interest income, fees and
monetary variation in the period given the smaller changes in
IGP-DI, index used to readjust the amounts under CRC transferred
to State Government.

Financial expenses increase, mainly due to the FX variation in
the period (7.6% in the first half of 2004).

Operating Income

Copel's operating income totaled R$ 272.7 million in the first
half of 2004.

Non-Operating Result

The non-operating result was primarily a reflection of the net
effect from the deactivation/sale of goods and rights from
permanent assets.

Net Income

In the first half of 2004, Copel posted a net income of R$ 172.8
million. This result was influenced, basically, by the reduction
in the discount granted to due customers (average increase of
15% in retail tariffs from January 1, 2004 onwards), by the
continued provision for gas for UEG Araucaria and by the FX
variation of the period.

Balance Sheet and Capex (Assets)

On 6/30/2004, Copel's total assets amounted to R$ 9,423.5
million. First half 2004 Capex stood at R$ 125.3 million, of
which R$ 5.2 million went to generation projects, R$ 25.3
million to transmission, R$ 79.6 million to distribution and R$
15.2 million to telecommunications.

Balance Sheet (Liabilities)

As of the same date, Copel's total debt amounted to R$ 1,870.8
million, with a debt-to-equity ratio of 37.2%. Shareholders'
equity stood at R$ 5,031.0 million, 0.8% above of the amount
registered in June 2003, and equivalent to R$ 18.38 per 1,000

To view additional operating information and financial

CONTACT: Companhia Paranaense de Energia - Copel
         Investor Relations Department
         Mr. Ricardo Portugal
         (55-41) 331-4311

         Mr. Alves Solange Maueler Gomide
         (55-41) 331-4359

         Web Site:

ENRON: Petrobras Board OKs Acquisition Terms
The Board of Petroleo Brasileiro SA agreed to acquire Eletrobolt
for US$189 million from 17 banks that took over the plant from
bankrupt US Energy company Enron Corp., reports Business News

Brazil's federal energy company agreed to pay US$159 million in
30 monthly installments plus a final US$30 million for the
plant. The sale is scheduled to conclude November 1 after final
agreements between Petrobras and the banks.

For Enron, the sale would ease some of its problems with
creditors, while Petrobras would cut losses arising from the
plant's take-or-pay gas contracts.

The 388MW gas-fired thermoelectric plant, located in the State
of Rio de Janeiro, started operating in Sept 2001 and was built
for an estimated cost of US$250 million.

CONTACT: Enron Corp.
         Public Relations Dept.
         P.O. Box 1188, Suite 1600
         Houston, TX 77251-1188
         (713) 853-5670

         Web Site:


PAYLESS SHOESOURCE: Ratings Still On Watch Negative
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services announced that its ratings
for Payless ShoeSource Inc., including the 'BB' corporate credit
rating, remain on CreditWatch with negative implications. The
ratings were initially placed on CreditWatch March 2, 2004,
based on Payless' weaker-than-expected operating results, which
led to lower profitability and credit protection measures than
previously anticipated.

Payless plans to implement several strategic initiatives
designed to improve profitability. These include selling or
disposing all 181 Parade stores and 32 Payless stores in Peru
and Chile, closing an additional 260 Payless stores on top of
the 230 typical annual store closings, reducing low-growth
wholesale businesses, and reviewing the expense structure. Sales
and operating losses of the operations related to these
initiatives were $210 million and $29 million, respectively, in
2003. The present value of operating leases on these stores was
about $116 million at the end of the second quarter of 2004
(ended July 31, 2004). The company is recording a noncash
impairment charge of $36.7 million in the second quarter of 2004
related to the store closings. Costs for lease terminations,
severance, and other exit costs are expected to range from $40
million to $60 million.

"Payless' operating performance remains weak, although it has
shown some improvement in the current fiscal year following a
very disappointing fiscal 2003 (ended Jan. 31, 2004)," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Ana Lai. EBITDA for second-
quarter 2004 was $58 million, versus $35 million in the prior
year. For the first six months, EBITDA was $106 million, versus
$84 million for the prior year. Sales trends are poor, however,
which could threaten future performance. Same-store sales
accelerated their decline in the second quarter of 2004, ending
with a negative 6.5% in July. Payless' goal to achieve a 30%
gross margin for fiscal 2004 depends on at least low single-
digit positive same-store sales for the remainder of the year --
a goal which will be challenging to meet given increased

Fiscal 2003 operating margins declined sharply, to about 12% in
fiscal 2003 from 18% the year before, due to heavy promotions to
clear excess inventory, weak same-store sales (negative 3.9%),
and higher costs. Payless' weak profitability eroded credit
protection measures to levels that are subpar for the current
rating, with EBITDA interest coverage declining to 2.0x and
total debt to EBITDA increasing to 5.4x for the 12 months ended
July 31, 2004, from 2.7x and 3.8x, respectively, a year ago.
Standard & Poor's expects some recovery in profitability in
2004, as Payless restored inventory to levels more consistent
with historical levels. However, the footwear retailing
environment is expected to remain highly promotional, pressuring

Standard & Poor's will meet with management to discuss Payless'
financial and operating strategies (including key initiatives),
as well as the outlook for recovery, prior to resolving the
CreditWatch listing.


KAISER ALUMINUM: Posts US$24.2M Net Income in 2Q04
Kaiser Aluminum reported on Monday net income of $24.2 million,
or $.30 per share, for the second quarter of 2004, compared to a
year-ago net loss of $61.4 million, or $.76 per share. Net
income for the second quarter includes a pre-tax gain of $23.4
million associated with the sale of the Mead, Washington,

For the first six months of 2004, Kaiser reported a net loss of
$39.8 million, or $.50 per share, compared to a net loss of
$126.5 million, or $1.58 per share for the same period of 2003.

Net sales in the second quarter and first six months of 2004
were $345.1 million and $658.4 million, compared to $296.0
million and $574.9 million for the same periods of 2003.

Kaiser President and Chief Executive Officer Jack A. Hockema
said, "The improvement in net income in the second quarter of
2004 was due largely to higher realized prices for alumina and
primary aluminum, the gain on the Mead sale, and higher
shipments of fabricated aluminum products. We were particularly
pleased by the improvements in our fabricated products business,
which we expect to be the core business on which Kaiser focuses
in its reorganization."

In accordance with applicable accounting standards, the gain on
the sale of Mead, as well as the operating results for the 65%-
owned Alpart alumina refinery in Jamaica, have been reported as
discontinued operations in the company's Statements of
Consolidated Income for the quarter and six-month periods of
2004 and 2003. The company expects to apply similar treatment to
material asset sales that may be completed in the future.

In commenting on the company's restructuring efforts, Hockema
said, "Kaiser continues to make progress in its Chapter 11 case.
The completion of the sale of the company's interests in and
related to Alpart on July 1, 2004 was an important step, and we
expect to complete the sale of our interests in Gramercy, Kaiser
Jamaica Bauxite Company, and Valco in the third quarter of this
year. However, the company now believes that it is not likely
that it will emerge from Chapter 11 until sometime in the first
half of 2005 due to, among other things, longer than expected
negotiations in respect of the Intercompany Settlement Agreement
and the fact that the commodity asset sales process has taken
longer than previously expected. In advance of this, we are
pushing for an aggressive pace that would enable us to file a
Disclosure Statement that proposes a Plan of Reorganization by
the end of 2004."

Hockema said, "To reach that goal, the company and its advisors
are focused on resolving a number of remaining issues." In
particular, Hockema cited the company's ongoing discussions with
the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC); negotiations on
the Intercompany Settlement Agreement; a planned amendment to
the Post-Petition Credit Agreement; and the status of the QAL
sale process. These and other issues are described more fully in
Kaiser's Form 10-Q for the second quarter of 2004.

Kaiser ended the second quarter of 2004 with liquidity of
approximately $170 million and no borrowings under its Post-
Petition Credit Agreement.

Kaiser Aluminum (OTCBB:KLUCQ) is a leading producer of
fabricated aluminum products, alumina, and primary aluminum.

CONTACT: Kaiser Aluminum Corporation
         5847 San Felipe
         Suite 2500
         P.O. Box 572887
         TX 77257-2887
         Phone: 713-267-3777

         Web Site:

* JAMAICA: IMF Wraps-up Article IV Consultation
On August 2, 2004, the Executive Board of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with


Following the near crisis in the first half of 2003, the
authorities have succeeded over the past year in stabilizing the
economy and restoring market confidence. The foreign exchange
market stabilized in mid-2003, inflation has decelerated,
domestic interest rates have declined, and growth improved,
while Jamaica has returned to the international capital market.
Although the external environment was favorable, a key
contributor to this outcome was the government's renewed fiscal
adjustment effort in FY 2003/04. In particular, the increase in
the primary fiscal surplus, reflecting both expenditure savings
and revenue measures, allowed the budget deficit target to be
met despite higher-than-budgeted interest payments.

After more than a decade of virtual stagnation, real GDP growth
reached 2 percent in FY 2003/04. The improvement was led by
strong performance in the key tourism and mining sectors. The
agricultural sector rebounded from the effects of widespread
flooding in the previous year, and utility, communication, and
financial sectors also turned in good performances. Reflecting
the significant exchange rate depreciation in late 2002 and
early 2003, as well as the impact of tax measures introduced
with the FY 2003/04 budget, 12-month (as well as year-on year)
inflation increased to double digits. However, annualized
monthly inflation has declined to single digits in recent

In FY 2003/04, the government contained the budget deficit in
relation to GDP slightly below the preceding year's outturn,
despite a much higher interest bill. The primary surplus
(excluding privatization-related receipts) increased by 4
percentage points of GDP, to 11 percent of GDP, compared to 7
percent of GDP in FY 2002/03. Revenue increased by about 2
percentage points of GDP, to 30 percent of GDP, reflecting
higher receipts from the general consumption tax, personal
income tax, and taxes on interest as a result of measures
introduced in the FY 2003/04 budget, as well as the imposition
of an import surcharge. Primary expenditure declined by 2
percentage points, to 19 percent of GDP, as cuts in nonwage
current spending and capital outlays were implemented. While the
deficit was initially financed largely from domestic sources,
the government was able to secure, towards the end of the fiscal
year, foreign currency financing of around US$450 million. The
public debt ratio declined slightly, to 145 percent of GDP.

Monetary policy has continued to rely on open market operations
guided by inflation and NIR objectives. Following the sharp
increase in interest rates on its open market instruments at the
end of FY 2002/03, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has substantially
reduced its interest rates to 14-17 percent by June 2004-less
than half the March 2003 peak. Nonetheless, given improved
confidence, the BOJ succeeded not only in rolling over maturing
CDs but also in mopping up additional liquidity, associated
mainly with government external borrowing. The resulting
contraction in the central bank's NDA contained base money
growth at about 11« percent while providing room for a partial
recovery in NIR during FY 2003/04.

Developments in the banking system have reflected improved
confidence. Broad money growth exceeded that of nominal GDP,
with a significant buildup in foreign assets. Private sector
credit, mainly to the tourism and telecommunications sectors,
showed strong recovery after a prolonged post-financial crisis
slowdown. Bank soundness indicators continued to improve: the
percentage of past due loans stands at 3 percent, while
provisioning for loan losses, capital adequacy, and
profitability remain well above minimum international standards.
While deposit dollarization increased somewhat, banks have
maintained a roughly balanced foreign exchange position.

The external current account deficit narrowed by 4 percentage
points of GDP to 11 percent of GDP in FY 2003/04. Tourism
completed its recovery and alumina exports rose in the context
of capacity expansion, increased international demand, and
better export prices. Agricultural exports experienced a
weather-related improvement while reported remittances also
rose. Imports declined reflecting currency depreciation and the
winding down of investments in the telecommunication sector.

The exchange rate of the Jamaican dollar has continued to be
determined in an interbank market that is free of restrictions
on current payments, and in the context of an open capital
account. The exchange rate has remained around J$60 per U.S.
dollar over the past year, in the context of declining domestic
interest rates and broadly unchanged official international
reserves. The real effective exchange rate has risen somewhat
following the steep depreciation in late 2002/early 2003, but
remains well below its range in the six-year period through

Executive Board Assessment

Executive Directors welcomed the authorities' progress in
stabilizing the economy after a near-crisis in the first half of
2003, noting that in the past year, growth has resumed after
years of virtual stagnation, inflation has slowed, and interest
rates have declined significantly. While the favorable external
environment has played a role, the authorities are to be
commended for their policy efforts, which reflected their strong
commitment to reform and their efforts to secure a broad
consensus. These policy efforts included a substantial fiscal
adjustment and active use of monetary and exchange rate
policies. However, Directors emphasized that formidable
challenges still remain because of the very high level of public
debt, and the associated vulnerabilities of the economy,
exacerbated by the high degree of indexation of the debt to
exchange rates and short-term interest rates. Going forward,
Directors urged the authorities to continue to secure consensus
on the reforms.

Directors supported the priority placed by the authorities on
bringing down the public debt-to-GDP ratio. They stressed that
prospects for achieving this goal will hinge on steadfast fiscal
discipline in conjunction with structural reforms to promote
growth. Some Directors cautioned that, even if successfully
implemented, the authorities' strategy will still leave the
public debt ratio at a level over the medium term that will
continue to constitute an important vulnerability to the
Jamaican economy.

Directors welcomed the government's efforts to strengthen tax
collection and expenditure management, which they viewed as
essential for achieving the ambitious deficit reduction target
for FY 2004/05. Moreover, achieving the balanced budget target
for FY 2005/06 is likely to require additional measures to
compensate for the discontinuation of one-off revenue items, as
well as possible higher-than-projected interest payments.
Directors were encouraged by the authorities' intention to keep
the fiscal outlook under review, and urged early identification
and prompt implementation of any necessary additional measures
to deal with unforeseen contingencies.

Directors noted that the magnitude and duration of the fiscal
adjustment envisaged by the authorities is unprecedented, and
subject to considerable risks, and emphasized that reform
measures to underpin the adjustment will be critical. They urged
the authorities to elaborate promptly a comprehensive fiscal
reform agenda to strengthen the budgetary outlook, including
policies to contain the wage bill and rationalize government
employment. In this context, Directors welcomed the recent
understandings in these areas reached with the trade unions. At
the same time, the social safety net should be strengthened to
mitigate the potential impact of adjustment measures on the
disadvantaged. Directors welcomed the substantial progress made
in modernizing the tax administration in recent years, and
encouraged the government to design the forthcoming tax reform
in a manner that would help to achieve the balanced budget
target, and provide for a stable ratio of tax revenue to GDP
over the medium term. In this context, Directors saw the need to
reduce exemptions that narrow the consumption tax base, and to
eliminate reduced rates and other features that complicate the
tax system.

Directors observed that the current level of the exchange rate
reflects market forces, and that the exchange rate has remained
stable, despite a substantial decline in domestic interest
rates. They encouraged the authorities to continue to minimize
intervention in the foreign exchange market and to make flexible
use of monetary and exchange policies in the period ahead. A few
Directors encouraged the authorities to eliminate the multiple
currency practice associated with the foreign exchange surrender

Directors stressed the mutually reinforcing links between
achieving greater debt sustainability and higher growth. They
noted that while Jamaica has undertaken several important
reforms, structural and social weaknesses still discourage
private investment and hamper external competitiveness. In this
regard, the planned structural reforms in the fiscal area will
go a long way in creating an enabling environment for private
sector development.

Directors considered that in the financial sector, prudential
regulation needs to be reviewed and strengthened, given the
system's large exposure to public debt. In particular, the
envisaged introduction of prudential requirements for securities
dealers would help cushion the large interest rate and liquidity
risks in this subsector. Directors welcomed the ongoing
preparatory work on legislation to combat money laundering and
the financing of terrorism, and the plan to undertake a FSAP in
2005. Directors urged the authorities to develop options for
reducing rigidities in the labor market, particularly high
redundancy costs, and they supported the government's planned
initiatives to improve the education system, and ongoing efforts
to fight crime.

Directors endorsed the authorities' request for intensified
surveillance of the Jamaican economy and of progress in
implementing their economic strategy. In this regard, they
looked forward to the semi-annual interim reports for
information of the Executive Board between Article IV
consultations. Directors considered that the usefulness of
intensified surveillance would be enhanced by the authorities'
firm commitment to and ownership of the economic program,
supported by full communication of the program and its
objectives to the public, aimed at building consensus.

Directors noted that while the statistical information provided
by Jamaica is broadly adequate for surveillance purposes, there
remains scope for further strengthening the statistical system.
They encouraged the government to commit to a plan to subscribe
to the SDDS within a defined timeframe.

(1) Under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, the IMF
holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A
staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial
information, and discusses with officials the country's economic
developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff
prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the
Executive Board. At the conclusion of the discussion, the
Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the
views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to
the country's authorities.


Public Information Notices (PINs) are issued, (i) at the request
of a member country, following the conclusion of the Article IV
consultation for countries seeking to make known the views of
the IMF to the public. This action is intended to strengthen IMF
surveillance over the economic policies of member countries by
increasing the transparency of the IMF's assessment of these
policies; and (ii) following policy discussions in the Executive
Board at the decision of the Board.

To view Jamaica's Economic Indicators:

CONTACTS: International Monetary Fund
          External Relations Department
          700 19th Street, NW
          Washington, D.C. 20431 USA
          Public Affairs: 202-623-7300 - Fax: 202-623-6278
          Media Relations: 202-623-7100 - Fax: 202-623-6772


AMERICAS MINING: S&P Raises Rating, Drops Creditwatch
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its corporate credit
rating on Americas Mining Corp. (AMC) and AMC's three mining
subsidiaries, Minera Mexico S.A. de C.V. (MM), ASARCO Inc., and
Southern Peru Copper Corp. (SPCC), to 'B-' from 'CCC+'. The
ratings were removed from Creditwatch, where they were placed on
June 23, 2004. The outlook is positive.

"The upgrade on AMC and its subsidiaries reflects the company's
improved cash flow and ability to significantly reduce
leverage," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Juan P.
Becerra. "This in turn was due to higher-than-expected metals
prices and the dedication of excess cash flow to repay debt (as
required by Minera Mexico debt covenants)."

The rating on AMC and its subsidiaries reflects the company's
still-aggressive debt profile, volatile metal prices, average
cost position, and lack of product and geographic
diversification. In addition, AMC has very limited liquidity at
the holding company level and a high dependence on volatile
dividends from SPCC, given the current effective cash trap at
the MM level and negative cash flow at Asarco. These factors are
balanced by AMC's position as the third-largest copper producer
in the world, including particularly low-cost mines at SPCC, its
vertical integration, and its realized and expected debt

The positive outlook reflects Standard & Poor's expectations
that AMC could continue to reduce debt at the holding level, but
more significantly at MM's level as long as the current high
copper prices are sustained. It also contemplates SPCC's ability
to continue funding AMC's cash shortfalls through its dividends.
The outlook could return to stable if debt reduction is lower
than expected.

AMC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grupo Mexico.

CORPORACION DURANGO: Provides Detailed Info About Debt Plan
Corporacion Durango, S.A. de C.V. (BMV: CODUSA) (the "Company"
or "Corporacion Durango"), announced Friday that it had reached
an agreement in principle under which substantially all of its
unsecured bank lenders and members of the Ad Hoc Bondholders
Committee have agreed to support the Company's proposed
financial restructuring plan.

The proposed financial restructuring, which is supported by
creditors holding approximately 68% of the Company's unsecured
debt, is subject to approval by the First Federal District Court
in Durango, Mexico presiding over the Company's concurso
mercantil proceeding (the "Mexican Court").

In a concurso mercantil proceeding, a debtor can confirm a
financial restructuring plan with the support of the holders of
a majority of its recognized debt and such plan, once confirmed,
would be binding on all of its creditors.

Although the Mexican Court has not yet approved the Company's
concurso mercantile application, the examiner appointed by the
Federal Institute of Specialists in Concurso Mercantil has
determined the Company meets the standards for such application
and the Company anticipates that such approval will be issued in
the coming weeks.

The Company's secured creditors and the non-financial creditors
of the Company's operating subsidiaries, including their
employees, vendors, suppliers and customers, will not be
affected by the proposed financial restructuring.

Miguel Rincon, Chairman of Corporacion Durango, commented: "We
are pleased to be able to disclose at this time the terms of our
proposed financial restructuring plan. We believe that the terms
of the proposed financial restructuring plan are fair and
equitable to all of the creditors of Corporacion Durango as
evidenced by the support of a substantial majority of our
creditors. We expect that the proposed financial restructuring
plan will result in a more adequate and competitive capital
structure for Corporacion Durango and substantially enhance the
financial flexibility of the Company and its operating

Under the proposed financial restructuring, the Company's
unsecured creditors will receive new debt equal to 85% of the
outstanding principal amount of the Company's unsecured debt.
The Company's unsecured bank creditors would amend and restate
their existing loans as Series A Loans in an aggregate principal
amount of approximately $116.1 million. The holders of the
Company's other unsecured indebtedness, including the Company's
12 5/8% Senior Notes due 2003, 13 1/8% Senior Notes due 2006, 13
1/2% Senior Notes due 2008 and 13 3/4% Senior Notes due 2009,
would receive Series B Notes to be issued in an aggregate
principal amount of approximately $433.8 million in exchange for
their debt. In addition, all such creditors would receive an
aggregate of 17% of the Company's capital stock on a fully
diluted basis.

The Series A Loans will bear interest at LIBOR plus 2.75% per
annum, payable quarterly, and will mature on December 31, 2012.
Principal under the Series A Loans will be amortized based on
the following schedule: 5.0% in 2005; 12.0% in 2006; 12.0% in
2007; 12.0% in 2008; 12.0% in 2009; 13.0% in 2010; 20.0% in
2011; and 14.0% in 2012.

The Series A Loans may be prepaid at the option of the Company
at any time on or after December 31, 2005, without premium or

The Series B Notes will bear interest at the rate of 7.50% per
annum until December 31, 2005, 8.50% per annum from January 1,
2006 through December 31, 2006, and 9.50% per annum thereafter
until maturity on December 31, 2012. Interest on the Series B
Notes will be payable quarterly. The Series B Notes will be
callable at the option of the Company on or after December 31,
2005, at a declining premium of 4% of face value.

The Series A Loans and Series B Notes will be guaranteed by
certain of the Company's subsidiaries, and be secured ratably by
the real estate and other fixed assets of the Company and
certain of the Company's Mexican subsidiaries and the common
shares of two of the Company's subsidiaries.

A more detailed summary of the terms and conditions of the
Company's proposed financial restructuring is contained in the
definitive term sheet filed by the Company Friday with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 6-K. The agreement
with the Company's creditors is subject to termination upon the
occurrence of certain events.

The Company intends to communicate further information in the
coming weeks concerning the next steps in the concurso mercantil
process. Individuals with questions are invited to contact
Emilio J. Alvarez-Farre of White & Case LLP, counsel to the
Company, at (305) 995-5219, e-mail:

Corporacion Durango is the largest producer of containerboard in
Mexico through its Grupo Durango division, is the largest
Mexican producer of newsprint through its Pipsamex division, is
the largest manufacturer of corrugated containers in Mexico
through its Empresas Titan division, is a leading independent
paper and packaging producer in the U.S. through its McKinley
Paper division, and is one of the largest manufacturers in
Mexico of uncoated free-sheet and multi-wall sacks.

CONTACTS: Corporacion Durango, S.A. de C.V.
          Ms. Mayela R. Velasco
          +52 (618) 829 1008

          White & Case LLP
          Mr. Emilio J. Alvarez-Farre
          (305) 995-5219

GRUPO MEXICO: S&P Raises Rating, Drops CreditWatch
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its corporate credit
rating on Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V. (Gmexico) to 'B+' from 'B-'.
The rating was removed from Creditwatch, where it was placed on
June 23, 2004. The outlook is stable.

"The two-notch upgrade on Gmexico reflects the low debt level at
the holding company, the expected cash flow generation from its
stable railroad business (Ferromex), and the improved cash flow
and ability of the mining business (AMC) to significantly reduce
leverage," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Juan P.

The rating on Gmexico reflects the company's aggressive
consolidated debt profile, cyclical and volatile copper price,
and limited financial flexibility. These factors are balanced by
the company's position as the third-largest copper producer in
the world, including the very low cost mines of Southern Peru
Copper Co., AMC's better financial profile, and Ferromex's
strong cash flow generation.

The stable outlook reflects Gmexico's benefit from AMC's debt
reduction and comfortable debt maturity profile in the next
several years. An upgrade could be possible if the currently
high copper prices and the stable cash generation from its
railway business are sustained.
Conversely, greater-than-expected financial support from Gmexico
to the mining operations would likely result in a downgrade.

ANALYSTS:  Juan P Becerra, Mexico City (52) 55-5081-4416
           Santiago Carniado, Mexico City (52) 55-5081-4413

GRUPO TMM: To Sell Controlling Interest in Mexrail
Grupo TMM, S.A. (NYSE:TMM and BMV:TMM A) and Kansas City
Southern (KCS) (NYSE: KSU) announced Monday an agreement for
TFM, S.A. de C.V. (TFM) to sell to KCS, Mexrail, Inc. (Mexrail)
shares representing a 51 percent ownership of Mexrail for
approximately $32.7 million (U.S.). KCS will repay to TFM on or
before January 1, 2005, certain advances from TFM in an amount
of approximately $9 million and will pay to Grupo TMM at the
closing outstanding payables of approximately $400,000.

The sale will be made on terms substantially similar to those
previously agreed to by the parties in April of 2003. Mexrail
wholly owns The Texas-Mexican Railway Company (Tex-Mex), a U.S.
based shortline railroad that connects The Kansas City Southern
Railway Company (KCSR) with TFM, Mexico's largest railroad by
volume. The Mexrail shares will be placed in a voting trust
pending regulatory approval by the Surface Transportation Board
(STB) of KCS's common control of Tex-Mex, KCSR, and the Gateway
Eastern Railway Company.

"KCS is very pleased to have completed the Mexrail transaction
and to have it before the STB again for approval," said Michael
R. Haverty, Chairman, President and CEO of Kansas City Southern.
"Obtaining control of Mexrail and its U.S.-based assets under
KCS strengthens KCS as a viable rail competitor in the cross-
border market."

"Approval of the Mexrail transaction will make KCS, our TFM
partner, a stronger second U.S. rail carrier to the border at
Laredo, and will be highly beneficial for TFM," said Jose
Serrano, Chairman and CEO of TMM. "We are pleased to have
completed this transaction."

Under the agreement, KCS has an exclusive option to purchase the
remaining 49 percent of Mexrail through October 31, 2005, and an
absolute obligation to purchase those shares on or before
October 31, 2005. KCS agrees to comply with all prior STB
rulings concerning the international bridge between Laredo and
Nuevo Laredo (the Bridge), and to operate the Bridge under the
terms of the applicable bridge agreements and protocols.

KCS's acquisition of control of Tex Mex is subject to the
approval of the STB. KCS had previously submitted an application
to control Tex Mex, but that proceeding was suspended by the STB
on October 8, 2003, following TFM's repurchase of the Mexrail
shares from KCS under the terms of the April 2003 agreement. KCS
has notified the STB of the new agreement and has requested the
STB to reinstate the procedural schedule and to move forward
with its consideration of KCS's application to control Tex Mex.

Headquartered in Mexico City, Grupo TMM is Latin America's
largest multimodal transportation company. Through its branch
offices and network of subsidiary companies, Grupo TMM provides
a dynamic combination of ocean and land transportation services.
Grupo TMM also has a significant interest in TFM, which operates
Mexico's Northeast railway and carries over 40 percent of the
country's rail cargo.

KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad
investments in the United States, Mexico and Panama. Its primary
holding in the United States is The Kansas City Southern Railway
Company. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, KCS serves
customers in the central and south central regions of the United
States. KCS's rail holdings and investments are primary
components of a NAFTA Railway system that links the commercial
and industrial centers of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

         Avenida de la Cuspide No. 4755
         Colonia Parques del Pedregal
         Mexico City, 14010
         Phone: (312) 726-3600

         Web Site:

HYLSAMEX: Obtains $175 Million in Medium Term Bank Financing
HYLSAMEX, S.A. de C.V. (BMV: HylsamxB, HylsamxL) ("Hylsamex" or
"the Company") announced Monday that its subsidiary Galvak
obtained US$175 million in medium-term bank financing. Net
proceeds of this transaction were utilized by Galvak to
refinance US$119 million of its own indebtedness, applying the
remaining US$54 million and internal cash generation at the
subsidiary to fully repay the US$86 million bank Facility B debt
outstanding balance at the holding company Hylsamex S.A. de C.V.

The main terms of the US$175 million new bank financing at
Galvak are: a five-year amortizing loan with one year g race
period for principal payments and 48 equal monthly debt
amortizations over the remaining four years. This transaction
reduces Galvak's borrowing spread by 225 basis points. The lead
arrangers for the new loan are Citibank and Bank of America.
Finally, Galvak's debt maturity profile will be extended,
providing the Company with additional flexibility to carry out
its ongoing expansion plans.

Hylsamex has fully paid down all bank debt outstanding at the
holding Company (Facility B), which totaled US$223 million as of
June 30, 2004. This was the result of the prepayments of US$137
million coming from the net proceeds of the Series L equity
issuance made on July 15, 2004 and the US$86 million implemented

Lastly, with the final prepayment of Facility B, Hylsamex's debt
outstanding is now located entirely at the operating companies,
Hylsa and Galvak, simplifying the capital structure and reducing
financial risk. Netting the effects of new financing and
repayments of existing debt, Hylsamex achieved Monday an overall
debt reduction of US$31 million, reaching a total debt reduction
so far in 2004 of US$338 million. Furthermore, Hylsamex expects
to continue generating free cash flow over the next quarters to
pay down additional debt.

Hylsamex is a steel producer and processor, encompassing the
mini mill route with vertical integration, which includes
readily available sources of low cost iron ore and proprietary
technology for the direct reduction of iron. The Company
manufactures a broad spectrum of steel products with a
significant emphasis on value-added products. Hylsamex, which
has a manufacturing and distribution presence in North America,
reaches its end customers through an extensive wholly-owned
distribution network.

CONTACT:  Othon Diaz Del Guante
          (52-81) 8865-1240

          Ismael De La Garza
          (52-81) 8865-1224

LUZ Y FUERZA: Continues Drive to Eliminate Power Irregularities
Mexico's state-owned power distributor Luz y Fuerza del Centro
(LFC) is making quite a progress in its program to lessen
technical and non-technical power losses, says Business News

In a statement, the company said that in just over a year, it
replaced more than 395,000 meters and replaced 6,723
transformers, adjusting their capacity and size. Moreover, the
LFC said it has turned 250,000 connections formal from informal.

These measures have allowed LFC to reduce the number of voltage
irregularities by 40% and recover 1,038GW, which correspond to
savings of more than MXN907 million (US$79.7mn).

LFC earlier said that it is posting nearly MXN6 billion
(US$521mn) in annual losses, a problem that is driving the
Company to the edge of bankruptcy.

PEMEX: Officials Move to Alleviate Debt Burden
In an effort to give more financial breathing space to Petroleos
Mexicanos (Pemex), a proposal to modify the state-owned oil
company's tax scheme will be presented during the next ordinary
period of sessions in the Chamber of Deputies, reports El

Mr. Francisco Salazar Diez de Sollano, chairman of the Energy
Commission, disclosed that there were consensuses between the
parties to draft a single proposal to deal with Pemex's debt,
which now totals MXN700 billion (US$61.5 billion).

The official mentioned that the bill would be aimed at
preventing the privatization of the company and making it more
competitive. According to him, the commission was studying a
proposal from the Executive branch of government, along with
others made by parliamentary groups, but the idea was to unify

P U E R T O   R I C O

Centennial Communications Corp. (identified as the registrant)
filed the following document with the U.S. S.E.C. stating the
reasons for the late filing of Forms 10-K, 20-F, 11-K, 10-Q, N-
SAR, N-CSR, or the transition report or portion thereof:

In preparation for complying with the provisions of the
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 relating to internal control over
financial reporting that will be effective for the Registrant
beginning May 31, 2005, and recent guidance surrounding such
legislation, the Registrant is considering restating its
financial statements for certain prior periods.

Such restatement would primarily relate to adjustments that were
identified in the course of prior audits of the Registrant's
financial statements, but not recorded at the time due to their

The Registrant is still in the process of completing its
analysis of the effect of the potential adjustments but does not
expect that the aggregate effect will be material. As a result
of this effort, the Registrant's audit is not yet complete.

Centennial is one of the largest independent wireless
telecommunications service providers in the United States and
the Caribbean with approximately 17.3 million Net Pops and
approximately 1,027,500 wireless subscribers. Centennial's U.S.
operations have approximately 6.1 million Net Pops in small
cities and rural areas.

Centennial's Caribbean integrated communications operation owns
and operates wireless licenses for approximately 11.2 million
Net Pops in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the U.S.
Virgin Islands, and provides voice, data, video and Internet
services on broadband networks in the region. Welsh, Carson
Anderson & Stowe and an affiliate of the Blackstone Group are
controlling shareholders of Centennial.

CONTACT: Mr. Tony L. Wolk
         Senior Vice President
         Centennial Communications Corp.
         3349 Route 138
         Wall, NJ 07719
         Phone: 732 556-2200


PDVSA: Head Sees Stability in Oil Industry With Chavez Win
Mr. Ali Rodriguez, president of state oil giant Petroleos de
Venezuela (PDVSA), expects stability and growth in the oil
industry following President Hugo Chavez's victory in a
referendum on whether he should be removed from office.

Dow Jones recalls that PDVSA has seen its oil exports
interrupted twice over the past three years amid work stoppages.
The government fired half the company's staff following the most
recent strike, which ended in February of 2003.

"At last our oil workers can work without the constant pressure
of these campaigns," Rodriguez said.

The workers who were fired in the 2003 strike, around 19,000 in
total, had expected that Chavez will lose the recall and they
would get their jobs back. They walked off the job in an effort
to force Chavez from office.

Rodriguez urged Chavez's detractors to accept the results.

* S&P Affirms Ratings of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B-' long-term
and 'C' short-term sovereign credit ratings on the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela in the aftermath of the referendum on the
presidency of Mr. Hugo Chavez. The outlook remains stable.

Preliminary results issued by the National Electoral Council
indicate that President Chavez won by 58% of the vote. However,
the election has been contested by the Coordinadora Democratica
(the umbrella opposition organization), which states that there
was large-scale fraud. Going forward, the trajectory of the
ratings depends largely upon political developments in the
coming weeks.

"Diminished political instability could lead to improved
creditworthiness," said Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
credit analyst Richard Francis. "A fiscal adjustment and a focus
on improving the prospects for the oil sector through much-
needed investment would certainly lead to improved medium-term
economic prospects and also support further improvements in
creditworthiness," he added.

According to Mr. Francis, the ratings on Venezuela reflect
continued political polarization, weak institutions with limited
checks and balances, a large fiscal deficit despite high oil
prices, and structural economic deficiencies resulting from the
continued high and growing dependence on oil. However, the
rating is supported by the high oil prices that have boosted
general government revenue and led to a significant improvement
in external indicators.

Mr. Francis explained that, regardless of near-term events,
serious political and economic challenges will remain for the
foreseeable future.

The country remains politically polarized, and capital and price
controls have caused significant damage to the private sector.
Unemployment remains high, at over 16%. While the overall
economy is expected to grow by 10% in 2004 after two years of
near 20% contraction, growth will likely slow significantly to
just 3% in 2005.

Standard & Poor's said that the Venezuelan government has
boosted social spending significantly over the past few months,
which is likely to lead to a fiscal deficit approaching 5% of
GDP in 2004 despite the significant windfall of oil revenue due
to high oil prices. Investment in Venezuela's oil sector has
likely suffered as a result of higher public sector spending on
social programs. Furthermore, there has also been a lack of
significant new private investment, which could result in a slow
reduction in oil production.

"Lower production levels would put the already structurally
weak, oil-dependant economy on an even less solid footing,"
noted Mr. Francis.

"The Venezuelan government is likely to face continued pressure
to maintain a high level of social spending ahead of the 2006
presidential elections, resulting in continued fiscal deficits
and modestly growing debt and interest burdens. In the meantime,
investment in the oil sector could remain insufficient to
maintain production levels-meaning that the economy will likely
become ever-more susceptible to a severe shock due to falling
oil prices," he concluded.

ANALYST: Richard Francis, New York (1)-212-438-7348


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA. John D. Resnick, Edem Psamathe P. Alfeche and
Lucilo Junior M. Pinili, Editors.

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial
subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription
information, contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.

* * * End of Transmission * * *